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The Jigsaw Model
EDC 311
Is about

This model is a cooperative learning strategy in which individual students become experts
on subsections of a topic and teach that
subsection to others.

Theory and
Theory: The jigsaw m odel was developed

by Elliot Aronson to help ease the

transition to integrated c lassrooms by
creating group a ssignments in which
every member of the group played an
important role, this would go back to
Vygotskys theory.
Specify L earning Objectives:
Definitely c hoose the content objective to
be an organized body of knowledge, but
include in your planning a lso objectives
like acquiring research skills, self-
direction, a nd developing
social/communication skills
Preparing Study Guide: Include in the
study guide items you want the students,
or experts, to find in their research
process, which will largely consist of using
the internet a nd textbook.
Forming Student Teams: The way you
assign teams reflects your non content
learning o bjectives. Organize your teams
to reflect diversity in gender, SES,
achievement levels, exceptionalities, a nd
culture to achieve your learning
objectives of increasing social skills,
communication, etc.
Supplementing Expert P resentations:
Plan o ut all of the content you wish the
students to know, and o nce the students
have presented go back a nd elaborate on
things that need elaboration or present
items that may have been overlooked

Assessment and


Assigning Experts: You can either assign
each expert to a s ubtopic or allow the
groups to decide amongst themselves,
which would work t owards the non-content
learning objectives
Information Gathering: The experts
research t heir subtopic a nd develop as deep
of an understanding as possible while
learning t o gather and organize information,
this helps students become self-directed;
the amount of time s pent in this step is at
your discretion a nd varies from topic to
Expert M eetings: Assign a leader of each
group of subtopic experts a nd hold each
expert meeting s eparately ( have s eatwork
for the rest of t he students). Have t he
leader facilitate the discussion a nd
comparison of notes a nd k nowledge;
students will need support and guidance in
these meetings, particularly t he first time
you introduce this m odel
Peer Instruction: Experts return to t heir
groups and teach their respective groups
about their t opics and they only have s o
long t o do so (you decide) and the other
students m ust know t hey a re responsible
for all information s hared s o they should
take notes a nd ask questions a nd y ou could
prepare guided notes to help t hem do t his
Review&Closure: Make s ure and fill in gaps
that experts may have left out in t heir
presentations, but also emphasize that t he
students are still responsible for all
presentation material, so t hat they dont
just check out until review next time

Assessment: You can assess the

content learning objectives by
traditional paper and pencil
assessment m eans, however, the
social d evelopment aspects n eed
to be monitored throughout the
project and you n eed to k eep
notes/checklists of if there is equal
participation and inclusion
Motivation: This model makes the
students v ery interdependent
because they d epend on each
other to learn the material,
similarly, each persons group
members a re depending on him to
come through, so I think thats
pretty good social accountability


Modifications: As with any model,

each classroom will make it look a
little bit different. As the t eacher
you just need to be aware of the
needs of each student/group and
maybe k eep a special eye out for
trouble from different groups. The
thing that n eeds to not ever
change, however, is the amount of
structure. The appearance of the
structure can change but jigsaw has
no hope of success without
immense structure and p lanning.

So What?? Jigsaw allows the students to own their learning and gives them the opportunity to show off their knowledge. If they

do all the work necessary, its a great confidence builder for students to be able to research a topic, present it to their
friends/peers, and know that they just taught them something.